Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala high court ordered on Monday to announce hartals and other types of shutdowns in the state with seven days prior notice. If this order is not obeyed, then strict fines would be imposed on the protesters apart from registering cases. According to the court, hartals and other bans affect the rights of people.

On January 8 and 9, trade unions all over India will go on a nationwide strike against the anti-worker policies of the government. Nearly 2000 workers will stage a dharna for 48 hours at the main venue of the Kerala secretariat.

Meanwhile, a Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi member said that shops will remain open on the two days.

The high court criticised the state government and asked what actions were taken by the state government to tackle the attacks staged by hartal supporters on the day of hartal called by Sabarimala Karma Samithi. 

NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair slammed the Kerala government with respect to the Sabarimala issue. He said that CPI(M) imposes atheism on Keralites and is responsible for the violence in the state. 

Nair also said that the CPI(M) implements party policy on people by using their power bestowed upon them by the people themselves. He also said there were many incidents when the state government could have taken decisions that would have maintained peace, but, in turn, the government complicated the issue. Nair also said faithful devotees try to protect their faith by preserving age-old traditions of the temple.

Meanwhile, the Kerala director general of police (DGP) Loknath Behera told media that if people try to change the strike into a hartal, then strict action will be taken. He also assured that security would be provided to schools and business establishments. 

The court observed that hartal is a serious issue and said the fact that 97 hartals took place in the state in 2018 is ‘unbelievable.’ The court was considering petitions seeking protection for shops on the day of hartal. 

According to police sources, a total of around 2182 cases have been registered and around 6711 arrests were made in connection with the violent protests in Kerala on the hartal day. 894 people were remanded and 5817 were granted bail.